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Controversy rages over Naga Terminal contract

NAGA CITY— Court issued Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) effective for 20 days (ending on Jan. 17, 2014) prevent the City government created Transition Committee from taking over the management and operation of the Naga City Central Bus Terminal as the city's contract with the current operator, the FPM Corporation, expired on Dec. 31, 2014.

Naga City RTC Branch 19 under Judge Zaida Garfin and RTC Branch 22 presided by Judge Junet Ayo have issued on Friday (Dec.27) the TRO on the petition made by counsels of FPM Corporation head, businessman Fortunato “Tato” Mendoza Jr., on his ongoing tussle with the City government under Civil Case No. RTC 2013-0114.

Reportedly, Mendoza’s case is for Injunction, Breach of Contract; Specific Performance and Damages with Prayer for a Temporary Restraining or Status Quo Order and a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and for a Judicial Declaration of Nullity of Executive Order Nos.2013-130 and 2013-030-A and Sangguniang Panglungsod Resolution No.2013-308.

Earlier, Mendoza defied Naga Mayor John Bongat’s Executive Order No. 2013-030-A that created the Central Bus Terminal Transition Committee last Oct.29.

Mendoza claims he only knew of the Mayor’s executive order when it was aired by local media networks. But official City government source said the order had long been posted in the website of the City government.

City Administrator Jun Mongoso who spoke in behalf of Mayor Bongat told local newsmen on Sat. (Dec.28) that Mendoza is still invoking the terms “the right of first refusal” contained in his first contract with the city government under then Mayor Jesse Robredo.

According to Mongoso, “the right of first refusal” was a privilege granted to Mendoza in his first contract with the city government to allow him to recover his investment as operator of the Naga Central Bus Terminal.

Mendoza first won the bid to manage the terminal some 15 years ago and according to Mongoso, within this period of Mendoza’s management the terminal suffered from poor physical maintenance of its facilities, increase of stall rentals from P 2,000 to P 9,000 and P 5.00 fee per user of its comfort rooms.

Mongosa said that the created Transition Committee for the Central Bus Terminal shall only manage the said terminal facility until August 2014 to give the City government time to prepare for the bidding for new operator.

The the government-owned Naga City Central Bus Terminal, which started operation in 1999 under a private management, was the first of its kind in the Bicol region and is now thought to be earning undetermined millions of pesos yearly for its operators who collect terminal fees from bus companies plying from Naga to other Bicol provinces, the Visayas and Mindanao and Metro Manila. (SONNY SALES)